Colin Kaepernick and some other NFL players who have recently protested on the field might have the attention of people now but Carmelo Anthony was one of the first high profile athletes to speak out on the issues plaguing our country. Going back to last year’s NBA season, Melo spoke about police brutality and other social issues in a lengthy Instagram post that really got people talking. He followed that up with his speech at the ESPY’s, where he was joined by Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Lebron James. With those issues still big as ever, Melo was asked about it again yesterday during the Knicks training camp, where he revealed that it’s hard for athletes to talk on things like this because they are in a “lose-lose” situation.


“We’re supposed to play basketball and shut up, or play football and shut up,” as transcribed by ESPN’s Ian Begley. “That’s what we’re supposed to do. When you start talking about things that people don’t want to talk about or try to hide talking about it, things that make people uncomfortable to talk about and look at and realize, then that’s when things go bad for us as athletes. If we’re just to sit there and play basketball and keep our mouths shut then we’d be cool. (But) we’ll get flack about that too. We’re kind of in a lose-lose situation. I’d rather go with our gut and what we really believe in. All athletes are human beings and they have their own beliefs.”

Melo has a great point with what he said and it’s very true. The topic was brought up in light of Joakim Noah recently skipping a dinner with cadets at the West Point Military Academy, where the Knicks are holding camp. Noah said he didn’t want to attend the dinner because he doesn’t support war, although he supports the cadets themselves and has tremendous respect for them.

“For him to take the stance that he took and really say it publicly and really mean it and really feel, then he’d have to really believe in that,’’ Anthony said. “I don’t think somebody is just going to say, ‘I’m not going to go just because of this without having a feeling or an emotion about it or really living that.’ That’s a big step for him to take. He must really feel the way that he feels and believes the way he believes.” Melo added that Noah “talked to the people that he had to talk to’’ to gain permission to skip the dinner.

Fans always want athletes to speak out on things but only if their stance really coincides with that of those fans. The minute athletes speak and have a difference of opinion, that’s when everyone wants them to be quiet. Unfortunately for those people, that’s not how life works.